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Trends and Contexts

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

This paper undertakes to determine whether social change in the six largest North Atlantic nations has followed common or separate lines of development since 1960. The finding that they exhibit far more shared than unshared trends is qualified by the principle of singularity which states that the sharing of trends by two or more national societies does not imply shared outcomes, because of differences in institutional context and other considerations. Both the convergence of trends and the divergence of outcomes are illustrated by numerous examples.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, U.S.A.


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